cropped-butterfly-2.pngI’m sorry you found my blog.

HA!  What a funny thing to say on a blog!!  But seriously, if you landed here, you either know me, or know someone that has cancer.  That’s why I’m sorry!

Cancer.

I hate that word.

I remember sitting in the oncologist’s office in my early 20’s listening to the Dr. tell me that while it was not likely I would get Ocular Melanoma like my Mom, 3 out of 4 people would be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their life.  Since all of my Grandparents and my Mom have died of some type of cancer, I knew my day would come.  I just never thought my diagnosis would be the day after my 41st birthday and as a mother of a 10, 7 and 6 year old.

Fast forward 4 years (October 2019) and the cancer has returned in other bones.  So here we are, ready to fight again…and looking to be on some sort of treatment for the rest of my life.

This blog is my journey as I fight to leave cancer behind and move on in my life.

I should probably back up and introduce myself . . . my name is Jennifer.  I’m a Christ follower, married to an amazing man (who happens to be a chef turned Co-CEO of a restaurant), have 3 beautiful daughters and I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer which originally spread to my sternum, but has now spread to quite a few other bones  and one of my lungs as well.

I know it can be confusing when you stumble upon a new blog, so let me help you get started.

  • I have a blog to keep track of my thoughts and to let friends and family know what’s going on.
  • You can get to know our family or read my personal testimony here.
  • As I’ve been going through different procedures, I’ve written down what it was like.  You can find a list of those over in the side bar (or down at the bottom if you are on a mobile device).
  • Click here to receive an email when I publish new posts.
  • And finally, if you noticed above that I’m married to a chef and think that must be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER, click here and browse through my blog about what it’s really like to be married to a chef.  (I love blogging.  Can you tell?)

Jennifer

Here’s what’s going on with me right now . . .

I got a hair cut!

Spoiler alert – We went to church, in the actual church building AND I got a hair cut. Wow!

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Cancer Insurance?

Did you know there is such a thing as supplemental Cancer insurance?

What????

I just found out about it yesterday on Facebook from an acquaintance who had purchased it for her mother.

I had no idea something like this existed!

Here’s what I know….I am not eligible because I have already been diagnosed with cancer. That makes sense. Bummer. But I get it. So to qualify, you can’t have cancer. Got it!

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So much to be thankful for on my 46th birthday!

Lord, thank you for allowing me to live another year…another year with Tom, our parents, the girls and friends.  Thank you for another year of life!

Thank you for salvation, forgiveness and grace.

Thank you for your Word and the encouragement it brings in difficult times.

Thank you for Tom and his dedication to You and to our family.

Thank you for our parents and the wonderful example they have set for us all of our lives.

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A Week Off and the Start of Another School Year

Hooray! No chemo yesterday! It was nice to stay home and not have to go in to the infusion center. I slept horrible the night before and woke up not feeling the greatest because of that. After resting all morning, I was a little better in the afternoon/evening. I felt nauseous off and on that day. I finally took Zofran in the late afternoon because it wasn’t going away. It’s kind of strange to have that side effect a week after chemo. Maybe it was something else? Who knows….

I can’t complain about one day of not feeling the greatest because this past week I have felt good! Some days, I would say I even felt GREAT! WOOHOO!! Praise God for good days! I didn’t have the huge downer of fatigue like I did last week. I am so thankful!

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If I Had Only Known…

This picture was taken on August 21, 2015, 8 days before my mammogram when I found out I had breast cancer.

Sitting on this log at Deception Pass, I definitely was not thinking that in 8 days I would find out I had breast cancer…….that a month later I would find out it was stage 4…….that we would have to tell our 3 young children that I had cancer…….that a few weeks later I would start chemotherapy. The list could go on and on.

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IV Chemo Week 2

Chemo went well on Monday and the early part of the week I felt pretty good. Wednesday was actually the best day I have had in a long time. I felt great! I had a lot of energy and enjoyed being out of bed. I was careful not to over do it. It was still a relaxing day, but I felt great!

The difference between yesterday (Wednesday) and today is huge. I was tired last night and was asleep by 8. I slept ’til 8:30 this morning and when I woke up, I was so fatigued that even lifting my arm felt like too much work. My body feels very heavy and I’m so weak and tired….the kind of tired that doesn’t get better with rest. Laying down feels like I’m doing too much. It’s a hard thing to explain. I’ve been in bed all day and still feel about the same. My brain feels foggy and i can’t believe it’s already the evening. Where did the day go??

Along with my chemo on Monday, I had my monthly Zometa infusion. The side effects from that might be part of what I’m feeling today. Who knows….

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3 Days After Chemo

So far I’m doing pretty well after chemo on Monday. I’ve been tired and my back and side pain continue and I felt a little nauseous this morning. Overall, I’m doing really well. No complaints. I’m curious how next week will go.

Christy and I headed out to the wig store this morning to look at halo wigs and hats….and they are closed on Thursdays. UGH! So instead we had a lovely time driving to Federal Way to get a smoothie and McDonalds. LOL. I woke up feeling unsure emotionally about trying on hats and wigs today, so maybe that was for the best.

tom-and-jennifer-ovalMeet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

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Resources:

verses of encouragement
How to help a friend or family member with cancer
Resources for Cancer 'Patients
cancer insurance

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
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PET Scan
port surgery
chemotherapy
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation
neuropathy after chemo